No employee should have to deal with workplace sexual discrimination. In truth, every worker has a right to a safe working environment, free of sexual harassment, discrimination, and retaliation claims. Unfortunately, sexual discrimination is a difficult topic that causes many employee victims not to want to come forward in fear of what can happen to them. Instead, they decide to stay silent and endure the overwhelming stress, anxiety, and worry on their own.
However, we are here to tell you that you do not have to go through this traumatizing ordeal by yourself. As an employee, you have both state and federal rights, and in this blog post, we will discuss these rights. Specifically, going over the different types of sexual discrimination and retaliation claims you need to know about, the sexual discrimination remedies you can pursue, and how an experienced employment law attorney can help you go after the justice you deserve.
What is Sexual Discrimination
Sexual discrimination involves treating another person, whether an employee or an applicant, unfavorably because of their sex. According to Title VII, discrimination against a person because of their gender identity, including their transgender status or sexual orientation, is against the law.
This law also forbids sexual discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, such as hiring, firing, job assignments, pay, promotions, training, layoffs, fringe benefits, or any other conditions of the employment.
What Are Retaliation Claims
Retaliation claims occur when an employer treats current employees, former employees, applicants, or individuals closely associated with these people less favorably for:
- Participating in a discrimination lawsuit
- Participating in a discrimination investigation
- Reporting discrimination
- Opposing discrimination
As an employer, it is illegal to fire an employee because they filed a discrimination charge with the EEOC even if the EEOC finds that the discrimination charge does not have any merit.
Common Types of Sexual Discriminations at Work
There are numerous forms of sexual discrimination that can occur in the workplace. However, some of the more common types include:
- Quid Pro Quo: This Latin term translated means “something for something,” or more specifically, an advantage granted in return for something else. When this term is applied to sexual discrimination, it means that an employer conditions terms of employment based on an employee’s willingness to perform sexual favors. These terms of employment can include increased pay, benefits, position, title, or other advancement opportunities. However, before the employee can receive these benefits, they need to agree to submit to unwelcome sexual advances.
- Same Sex Discriminations: Many people typically think that sexual discrimination involves women employees launching allegations against male managers. However, this is not always the case. In fact, any employee can experience sexual discrimination, regardless of sex, and this discrimination can even happen between individuals of the same sex. Additionally, it is not only managers or supervisors that can sexually discriminate against others. These sexual discrimination claims can be brought up against co-workers or even the company’s clients.
- Hostile Work Environment: Generally, hostile work environments are a form of discriminatory harassment. This discrimination can be based on sex, protected characteristics, race, or retaliation for protected activities. When the courts look into whether a work environment is hostile, they will examine the specific circumstances of the case. Meaning they will look into whether the sexual advances on an employee were unwelcome and severe. They will also assess whether the work environment includes unpleasant chatter and teasing, or did individuals make it difficult for the employee to carry out their job.
- Sexual Orientation Discrimination: This type of discrimination involves an employer discriminating an individual based on their sexual orientation or their perceived sexual orientation, whether lesbian, gay, bisexual, or heterosexual.
- Gender-Based Discrimination: Gender discrimination is the unequal treatment of an individual or group based on their gender. This discrimination often involves an individual treating an employee differently or less favorably because of their gender or sex or affiliation with a group associated with a particular gender.
Sexual Discrimination Remedies
When an employee has experienced sexual discrimination, they deserve to seek remedies for the harm they endured. Typically, this relief can come in the form of:
- Back pay
- Front Pay
- Compelled Hiring
- Compelled Promotion
- Attorney Fees
- Compensatory Damages
- Punitive Damages in some cases
When you work with a skilled employment law attorney, these lawyers can go over these different remedies with you, help you understand which ones you may pursue, and prepare the best case to fight for these remedies.
Which Employees Are Protected From Sexual Discrimination
According to the EEOC, current employees, former employees, and applicants are all protected from employment discrimination based on color, religion, race, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, gender identity, disability, national origin, age, and genetic information. These employees, former employees, and applicants are also protected from retaliation or punishment for filing a complaint of discrimination against their employer, opposing discrimination, or participating in a discrimination lawsuit or investigation.
How Can an Employment Law Attorney Help You With Your Sexual Discrimination Claim?
Many sexual discrimination victims fail to realize that if they face any discrimination or harassment at work, they need to take specific steps to protect their rights. Often these victims make the mistake of first talking to a coworker, their boss, or even the HR department before looking into what actions they need to take, which can end up hindering their claim. That is why discussing your case with an experienced employment law lawyer first can be a significant asset in your case.
These attorneys can not only go over your case in detail and answer any questions you may have. But they can also walk you through the EEOC charge filing process. Helping you prepare the necessary documents and ensuring they are filed accurately and on time. That is why do not wait any longer. If you have endured sexual discrimination at your workplace, contact a skilled employment law attorney today or call our office at 916-446-2000. Let us help you navigate these complex legal proceedings and fight for the remedies you deserve.